I am so excited that the new season of "White Lotus" just started! I loved the biting critique of wealth, whiteness, and privilege that permeated the first season, and I'm hoping the second season follows suit. While we wait for the rest of the season to drop, here's a great article about real-life excessive wealth and privilege, told from the perspective of "the people who pamper the rich." Natalie Compton and Andrea Sachs, writing for The Washington Post, dive into the world of the ultra-rich. They explain:
How real is this sense of entitlement? Do the elite really make such outrageous demands? The answer, according to travel industry workers who spoke to The Washington Post, is yes.
To find out more, we interviewed concierges, travel advisers, hoteliers and tour guides that cater to 1-percenters. Here are their stories, from the cashmere-lined trenches.
The rest of the article recounts stories of wealthy people that expose their outrageous (and infuriating) demands. One guest renting a 13,000 square foot mansion in Los Angeles demanded "a real authentic mermaid with a splash tail" for a cocktail party, with one hour's notice. A guest staying at a luxury hotel in France requested a same-day delivery of massive amounts of San Pellegrino from Italy—to wash her hair with. A private jet company got a request to fly a Pomsky dog from Santa Barbara, California to Vancouver, British Columbia. The dog flew solo, a trip that cost its owners a whopping $60,000. And at a luxury hotel in Zurich, a guest requested that the staff create a place for her dog to pee in her hotel suite, so the staff scrambled to find a fake patch of grass to set up in a wooden frame in the suite, which cost the guest $800. And as obscene as those stories are, I think this one pissed me off the most:
Curtis Crimmins, once a concierge at five-star hotels and now the founder of a hotel booking start-up called Roomza, points to the time a famous guest asked for a particular foreign tree frog for his daughter.
Crimmins finagled an introduction to a congressperson who was able to help him expedite the Agriculture Department approval process to get the frog into the country.
"It was $50,000, conservatively, just for the frog to be left in the room when they checked out," Crimmins says.
Can you even imagine paying someone over $50,000 to go through all of that hassle and red tape to bring a tree frog into the country, and then just leaving it behind in the hotel room when you check out? I cannot begin to even slightly understand that kind of privilege and entitlement.